Conferences are incredibly useful for all sorts of reasons – you can promote yourself, network and make new contacts, and find out about the latest developments in your industry. And although lockdown has put an end to most in-person conferences this year, many important events are still happening online.

If you’re planning to attend a virtual conference, it’s a good idea to be prepared, because it’s going to be different than you’re used to! The events might be pretty much the same, but you may find it tricky to get into the ‘conference mindset’ at home, so to help you out, here are our top tips for attending a virtual conference.

1. Remove distractions

There are all sorts of distractions at home that you wouldn’t have to deal with at a conference, including children, partners, pets, the ringing phone and the pile of washing up in the corner. Get yourself into conference mode by minimising these distractions as much as possible. Move to a quiet room, preferably with a door you can close, and silence or turn off your mobile phone. Giving the event your full attention will help you to get the most out of it.

2. Schedule your time

Treat this conference the same as you would an in-person one, by sitting down ahead of time and planning out your day. Choose a few can’t-miss events and some others you’d like to attend, and then build your day around them, including tea and lunch breaks. Having a few solid appointments in your calendar will help you to prioritise the most important events, and also make sure you definitely attend!

3. Learn how it works

It’s a good idea to get familiar with the technology beforehand so you don’t have to struggle with technical issues on the day. Most organisers will send pre-conference information, telling you how you can access the events and where you can find the materials/slides for each talk. Take time to read this information and have a practice with whatever conferencing software they’re using, so when the time comes you’ll be ready to go.

4. Go with a friend

Conferences are usually more fun with someone you know, so why not invite a friend along – perhaps a work colleague or a fellow business owner in your field? You can attend the events together, or just meet up for a virtual coffee break and a debrief to energise you for the rest of the day. Attending with a friend will also keep you accountable and help you avoid all those pesky distractions!

Virtual conferences could well become more prevalent in the future, so now is a great time to try a couple out and see what works best for you as an attendee.


Need someone to take care of the day-to-day jobs while you attend your conference? Get Ahead VA’s team of virtual assistants can cover your admin and telephone answering for the day, so you can concentrate on the events you really want to see. To find out more about how we can help, please give Get Ahead VA a call on 01483 332220 or email us at office@getaheadva.com. We pride ourselves on being the staff you don’t see, but the difference you do.

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